Transcription, Annotation, and Coding of Notebooks for the Marianne Moore Digital Archive
An avid self-archivist, Marianne Moore not only developed many of her poems over pages of dedicated poetry notebooks, but she also made extensive notes on her reading and conversations in volumes devoted to those topics. One-hundred-and-twenty-two notebooks are preserved at the Rosenbach, which is open to readers only 6.5 hours/day, 3 days/week. The limited schedule means that the notebooks have not been utilized by many to whose research they could be relevant; the MMDA (of which Elizabeth Gregroy is an Associate Director) aims to fix that by making them available online. For each, this involves transcribing the text, annotating the references Moore makes, and coding the transcript to direct the way it appears online.
To date, two poetry notebooks have been completed and posted by the other editors (Cristanne Miller at the University of Buffalo [Director] and Heather Cass White at the University of Alabama [Associate Director]), and Gregory is in the process of completing two more. One of those (VII:04:06) is only seven pages and should be completely transcribed by January 15, 2020. This project will finalize that notebook, complete the second (VII:04:05, which is currently in progress; totaling 110 pages), and complete a lengthy reading notebook (VII:02:02, 406 pages), all over the course of 2020. All of the notebooks will be double-checked by experienced Moore scholars before posting, and each posted text will be the equivalent of a scholarly edition.
These transcriptions are part of a group effort by Moore scholars to make Moore’s notebooks available to scholars across the globe. Currently, several other volumes are in process, and the rest will be completed over the coming years. More than thirty have been photocopied, and the Rosenbach and the Moore Estate have granted rights to the materials for online publication. The process requires a lot of double-checking by scholars, and once the notebooks are posted online, we welcome further input from readers to correct any errors they may identify or fill in any words we were not able to decipher. Moore scholars, many of them members of the Marianne Moore Society listserv, will step up to take on these jobs as they can. This major collaborative effort is hosted by the University of Buffalo, which has pledged to host the project in perpetuity. The University of Houston’s collaboration will be featured on the project’s main website.